The committee that proble the Letpaduangtaung copper mine’s incident met with local residents in the Sarlingyi township of Sagaing Region yesterday.
The report, made by the probe commission led by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, advocates continuing the project while calling for compensating fair amount for confiscated lands and reviewing the contract of Chinese-backed copper mine taking into consideration the best interest of the local residents.
“The local people are interested in the new contract. They want to see how the new contract will benefit them. The new contract is said to have been submitted to the Attorney General Office for its legal validity. Then, it will be submitted to the Myanmar Investment Commission and to the government of President [Thein Sein],” a local representative who attended the meeting said.
The copper mine project is a joint venture between military-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. and China-based Wanbao Company. The villagers staged protests last year as their farms and lands were confiscated for the project.
In November, the sit-in protestors at the project area were cracked down by the police using bombs containing phosphorous, for which there were widespread criticisms from the local and international communities.
The local who attended the yesterday’s meeting said, “The officials explained that the development of a country cannot rely only on agriculture, but it needs to extract metals. It is not an easy matter to invest billion of US dollars or thousand of billion kyats on a mining project, and so mining projects will be cooperated not only with China but also with other countries, they said.”
After the meeting, the officials also made separate discussions with respective villages for their education, health and development.